Real Estate Daily News Buzz is designed to give news snippets to readers that our (yet to be award winning) editors thought you could use to start your day. They come from various business perspectives, real estate, government, the Fed, local news, and the stock markets to save you time. Here you will find the headlines and what the news buzz of the day will be.
Wednesday, the Dow Jones industrial average lost 34.65 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 17,640.17. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index lost 3.82 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 2,071.50. The NASDAQ composite fell 8.62 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 4,834.93.
Benchmark U.S. crude oil fell 48 cents to close at $48.01 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, fell 86 cents to close at $48.97 a barrel in London. In other energy commodities, wholesale gasoline futures fell 2 cents to $1.50 a gallon, heating oil closed down 2 cents to $1.48 a gallon and natural gas fell 1 cent to $2.595 per 1,000 cubic feet.
Tesla opening gallery within Los Angeles Nordstrom store — Shoppers at a Los Angeles Nordstrom can soon browse Tesla Motors’ cars while they’re in the men’s department. A Tesla Gallery opens Saturday at Nordstrom in The Grove shopping complex. The department store collaboration is the first of its kind for Tesla, which operates its own stores and doesn’t sell through a traditional dealer network. It will showcase Tesla’s new Model X SUV. Customers can’t buy a Tesla in the gallery, but they can explore trim options and go for a test ride with a Tesla employee. Tesla is working on obtaining a license to sell cars from the Nordstrom location.
Foreign ownership of US debt falls for 1st time in 6 months — Foreign holdings of U.S. Treasury securities slipped for the first time in six months, led by declines in Ireland and the Cayman Islands, the third and fourth largest owners of U.S. debt. The Treasury Department says total foreign holdings declined 0.7 per cent to $6.24 trillion. The Cayman Islands, a Caribbean banking center, reduced its holdings 2.5 per cent to $258.5 billion, while Ireland cut back 2.4 per cent to $257.9 billion. China, the largest overseas owner of U.S. debt, also reduced its holdings by a slight 0.1 per cent, to $1.24 trillion. Japan, the second largest, raised its ownership 0.5 per cent to $1.14 trillion.
5 Essential Financial Terms Every Single-Family Real Estate Investor Should Know “When it comes to handling your real estate investments, the words from U.S. businessman Peter Lynch consistently ring true: ‘Know what you own, and know why you own it.’ The internet and big data have been critical in making that sentiment a reality. It may have been nearly two decades in the making, but no stone has been left unturned when it comes to how these two technologies have transformed real estate and real estate investing.” (U.S. News & World Report)
Waldorf Astoria May Convert 1,000 Rooms into Luxury Condos “The owner of the 47-story Waldorf Astoria New York may be planning to convert about 1,000 hotel rooms at the landmarked property into luxury condos, according to several sources. China-based Anbang Insurance Group purchased the hotel, located at 301 Park Ave., for $1.95 billion in late 2014. After the transaction closed months later, the firm's chairman, Wu Xiaohui, alluded to conversion plans for the structure's two towers without delving into specifics. According to sources, Anbang's vision is now coming into focus.” (Crain’s New York Business)
The World’s Most Expensive Office Markets “The world's most expensive office markets share strong economic growth and constrained supply for premium space. Real estate services and investment firm CBRE Group ranked the top prime office markets by occupancy costs, which includes rent, local taxes and service charges. Overall, occupancy costs increased 2.4 percent from a year ago.” (CNBC)
Las Vegas Reportedly Tapped for NHL Expansion “Within days of the death of NHL legend Gordie Howe and the Pittsburgh Penguins’ claiming of a fourth Stanley Cup, professional hockey is reportedly ready to expand — to the desert gambling mecca Las Vegas. The Associated Press, citing a person with direct knowledge of the NHL’s decision, is reporting Tuesday afternoon that the league has settled on Las Vegas, providing that local organizers can come up with a $500 million fee.” (MarketWatch)
RI’s Pension Fund Haunted by 27-Year-Old Real Estate Investment and Legacy of Failure “The development known as the “American Express” building in Providence still haunts the Rhode Island pension fund 27 years later, as a State Representative just introduced a resolution to pay back a $1.7 million outstanding obligation to the fund long after the developer's bankruptcy. And it is just the tip of the iceberg of economic losses tied to real estate investments for the state's pension fund.” (GoLocalProv)
Technology Repair Retailers Has Big Growth Plans “Given the growing proliferation of digital devices, it’s no wonder uBreakiFix is feeling bullish about expansion. The fast-growing technology repair company specializes in same-day repair service of small electronics. With some 200 locations across North America, uBreakiFix opened 24 stores during first quarter 2016. It expects to have a total of 275 stores by year end. The company was founded in 2009 as a brick-and-mortar alternative tech repair option that was quick, affordable and provided a quality customer experience.” (Chain Store Age)
To Assume or Reject: Unexpired Real Property Leases in Bankruptcy “When a debtor files for bankruptcy, certain contracts that are executory such as unexpired real property leases may be assumed or rejected as part of the bankruptcy process. This ability to assume or reject has significant implications in the context of a debtor who is a lessor or a lessee – from offering a debtor-lessor or lessee a way to continue business operations wherein the lease is an essential component to its operations to relieving a debtor-lessee from future performance obligations that have become too burdensome.” (JD Supra Business Advisor)
The Rise of the ‘Grocerant’: How Millennials Impact Supermarket Growth “Supermarkets no longer want to sell you just the makings for a meal, they want to make your dinner, too. An increasing number of supermarkets, dubbed "grocerants" — grocery restaurants — are stocking shelves with prepared foods and offering in-store dining, according to a recent study by The NPD Group. Since 2008, in-store dining and prepared foods have grown nearly 30 percent in groceries — accounting for 2.4 billion foodservice visits and $10 billion in consumer spending in 2015.” (CNBC)
Study: Store Design Key to Attracting C-Store Shoppers “Store design plays a crucial role in attracting customers and driving foodservice sales in convenience stores. That’s according to the new study, Food-Forward C-store Design, which comes as more convenience retailers are pursuing foodservice as a growth opportunity. The report, from foodservice research and consulting firm Technomic and retail branding and design agency Chute Gerdeman, was undertaken to understand how evolving consumer demands and preferences for prepared foods and beverages can be met through convenience store design, décor, and layout.” (Chain Store Age)
Report: New evidence of rising ‘Obamacare’ premiums — Premiums for popular low-cost medical plans under the federal health care law are expected to go up an average of 11 per cent next year, said a study that reinforced reports of sharp increases around the country. For consumers, the impact will depend on whether they get government subsidies for their premiums, as well as on their own willingness to switch plans to keep the increases more manageable, said the analysis released Wednesday by the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation. The full picture on 2017 premiums will emerge later this summer.
Strike looming at Macy’s iconic New York store — Workers at Macy’s flagship store in New York City are threatening to strike if there is no new contract by a midnight deadline. The store, a Manhattan tourist hot spot, hasn’t had a strike since 1972. The union representing store workers said contested issues include health care, unpredictable schedules and pension plans for senior employees. Three other area stores may strike as well. Macy’s sees the threat of the strike as real and has placed ads in local newspapers seeking temporary workers. Macy’s says negotiations are ongoing.
Home Depot: US credit card firms slow to upgrade security — Visa and MasterCard are using security measures prone to fraud, putting retailers and customers at risk of thieves, The Home Depot Inc. says in a new federal lawsuit. It’s the latest large retailer to raise the security concerns. Last month, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. sued Visa Inc. over similar issues. Home Depot says new payment cards with “chip” technology remain less secure in the U.S. than cards used in Europe and elsewhere in the world. Even with chips, U.S. cards still rely on customers’ hand-written signatures for verification, rather than more secure Personal Identification Numbers, or PINs, Home Depot maintains.